It’s That Time of Year… What Leftovers NOT to Feed Your Pet at Thanksgiving

I both love and dread writing this post each year about being cautious with leftovers and your pets during Thanksgiving. On the one hand, I love that it can do a lot of good for people and animals. It feels great to know that I, an HVAC professional dog, might help save a few pets’ lives. But I also kind of dread it because I get… so… hungry writing it! And I know that I can’t have most of this food because… well, I’m about to get into that.

I didn’t come up with these Thanksgiving “no-nos” myself, however. This is information coming from the vet-authored and vet-approved site PetMD. With their assistance, I’ve listed some of the leftover items you shouldn’t give to your pet if she comes a’begging during the holidays:

Anything with alliums

“Wait, what are alliums?” you’re asking. This is a kind of flowering plant that you know better as onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, and chives. And yes, there’s plenty of this on food at Thanksgiving—and it can be toxic to cats and dogs. The place to really watch out for alliums is turkey skin. The white turkey meat is fine for dogs and cats—and quite tasty—but the skin bastes in many spices that include alliums. And no stuffing either!


You may not have known this, but grapes (and therefore raisins), can be toxic to the digestive system of many pets and cause kidney failure in dogs.

Cranberry sauce

Although PetMD says a little bit of this can be okay, you need to be cautious because there is a large amount of sugar in most cranberry sauce recipes, and excess sugar is bad for pets. (Usually this isn’t a worry for cats because they have zero interest in sugar. No, I don’t understand it either.)


Dogs love chocolate. We have that sweet-tooth. But don’t let us have any! The baking kind of chocolate can be particularly poisonous for dogs.


Nope, you shouldn’t “throw your dog a bone” during the holidays. Cooked bones can be poisonous to pets. There is also a risk of bone slivers that can damage an animal’s intestines. Get those fake bones from the pet store, we love those just as much!

Keep healthy this Thanksgiving!


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